The Lagos State government, yesterday, began the distribution of food packs to 2,200 indigent pregnant women under the pilot scheme of its Mother, Infant and Child (M.I.C.H) programme, which took place simultaneously in 11 local governments/local council development areas of the state.
They include Ikeja, Badagry, Epe, Ikorodu, Agege, Lagos Island, Eti-Osa, Alimosho, Shomolu, Kosofe and Ibeju.
The programme, under the Office of Civic Engagement, was inaugurated at Igbogbo/Baiyeku LCDA on Tuesday by the wife of the governor, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu.
Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by Mrs Funmi Omotosho, said as an expression of his commitment to drawing government nearer to the people through qualitative healthcare, the governor had approved a basket of social services known as ‘Womb to School’ with components such as snacks for thought and M.I.C.H.
“The M.I.C.H programme, though at the pilot stage, is geared towards not only improving maternal and child health of indigent expectant mothers and infants, but also ensuring socio-economic balance and inclusion in the long run,” she said.
In the short-term, it would reduce the incidence of abysmally low attendance of expectant mothers at the state’s primary and secondary health facilities for their prenatal clinics occasioned by the economic hardship in the society.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Civic Engagement, Princess Aderemi Adebowale, said the programme was approved by the governor as a ‘build-citizen-from-the-womb strategy,’ saying that M.I.C.H is a component of the ‘Womb to School’ initiative, which is a basket of social services initiated to support the development of socially responsible citizens from the womb through infancy, childhood, youth into adulthood.
She said the programme was being experimented so as to determine the best approach to the planning and implementation of the scheme statewide, adding that at full launch, 5,000 underprivileged pregnant women to be strictly selected by doctors and specialists in each primary health care centres across the state, would be able to access the M.I.C.H food packs which contain recommended daily nutritional composition of protein, carbohydrate, lactose, milk, fat, fibre, Vitamins A, C, D3, E, B1, B2, B6, B12, calcium and folic acid.
“The food pack, which will be given to expectant mothers during their weekly prenatal visits, would contain the essential food and vitamins needed for the expectant mothers’ well-being and apt development of the baby’s brain even from the womb.”